I usually keep my soup eating to the fall and winter — there’s an obvious exception like gazpacho, which is served cold — but a warm soup on a warm day? Yes, I have one soup that will make me cross this culinary divide: this fresh summer corn chowder. The original recipe calls for frozen corn (which is what I use when I make this soup in the fall or winter) but with all of the fresh corn piling up at the farmer’s market and grocery store, I substitute some fresh raw corn for the frozen stuff. Another summer modification is the addition of some fresh peppery arugula when I serve the soup. It’s definitely an optional step but it’s one that I love (I might have an arugula addiction, so take this advice with a grain of salt). The arugula wilts a bit when mixed with the warm soup and adds such a burst of freshness to the soup. Give it a try, I promise you won’t regret it!
Chicken & Cheddar Corn Chowder (adapted from Cooking Light)
2-4 slices of bacon
1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup red pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 3/4 cup yukon gold potatoes, skinned & diced
2 cups fresh corn, shucked & kernels removed (about 6 ears of corn)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 – 2 cups of arugula (optional)
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Crumble; set aside. Add chicken, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to bacon fat in pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add broth and potatoes; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add corn; stir well.
Place flour in a bowl. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended; add to soup. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Top with crumbled bacon and arugula (optional).